J‑L

J. Edgar (2011)

A com­plete dis­as­ter that por­trays Hoover as a self­ish, in­se­cure and in­tol­er­ant man but we nev­er find out who he re­al­ly was. Be­sides, the make­up is atro­cious, while the over­ly de­sat­u­rat­ed cin­e­matog­ra­phy and drag­ging pace keep the au­di­ence even more emo­tion­al­ly dis­tant.


The JK Years: A Po­lit­i­cal Tra­jec­to­ry (1981)

Di­dac­tic in its ap­proach but still pret­ty rel­e­vant as an ex­pos­i­to­ry po­lit­i­cal es­say about a pe­ri­od in time that may seem too far back now, this is a com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­men­tary that of­fers a re­mark­ably de­tailed look at who Ku­bitschek was as both a strate­gic politi­cian and an am­bi­tious man.


Jack Reach­er (2012)

This thrilling crime movie is grip­ping and well writ­ten, even with some bla­tant clichés along the way. And the best about it is, of course, Tom Cruise, who of­fers a mag­net­ic per­for­mance in a great nar­ra­tive full of awe­some twists and ex­cit­ing hand fights.


Jack Ryan: Shad­ow Re­cruit (2014)

An un­o­rig­i­nal and for­get­table movie so full of worn-out clichés and so far-fetched that it will only be sur­pris­ing or ex­cit­ing for some­one who has nev­er seen any­thing in their lives be­fore, with also an in­tru­sive, clichéd score and a good cast that cer­tain­ly de­served bet­ter.


Jack­ass Presents: Bad Grand­pa (2013)

Not even near as fun­ny as it be­lieves to be with its amount of hack­neyed jokes that you would ex­pect from an ab­solute re­tard, this is an ir­ri­tat­ing col­lec­tion of hid­den cam­era pranks that nev­er come to­geth­er as a nar­ra­tive and just seem to have no pur­pose what­so­ev­er.


The Jack­et (2005)

The film has an in­trigu­ing idea but takes too long to fi­nal­ly kick in, which is some­thing that ought to be a bit ex­as­per­at­ing for some view­ers, and it al­most gets ru­ined by a sil­ly end­ing that tries too hard to be op­ti­mistic against any log­ic left, even if the ac­tors do their best to sell it.


Jack­ie (2016)

Filmed in 16 mm, which cre­ates an au­then­tic feel of watch­ing a doc­u­men­tary piece, this is a mag­net­ic and emo­tion­al­ly res­o­nant film that re­lies on Na­tal­ie Port­man’s su­perb per­for­mance and a mag­nif­i­cent score that plunges us into the dread and night­mare en­dured by the char­ac­ter.


Jack­ie Brown (1997)

Not Taran­ti­no’s best work but still an en­joy­able homage to blax­ploita­tion with a wel­come come­back by Pam Gri­er — and al­though this sol­id crime movie has charm and style, it is also a bit over­long and could have had a few scenes left out in post-pro­duc­tion.


Jane Eyre (2011)

The pro­duc­tion de­sign and cos­tumes are in­deed ex­quis­ite, as well as the ab­sorb­ing Goth­ic at­mos­phere. How­ev­er, the film lacks pas­sion and mys­tery, while the di­a­logue sounds in­cred­i­bly cheesy and Wasikows­ka is too ap­a­thet­ic for the role.


Jane Got a Gun (2015)

O’­Con­nor’s di­rec­tion is a tad heavy-hand­ed (some of the flash­back scenes and even the score are hor­ri­bly corny and mis­placed), but the film is sol­id enough in its at­tempt to cre­ate a nu­anced con­text for the char­ac­ters and make us care about them in a tense third act.


Jan­go (1984)

A typ­i­cal­ly di­dac­tic doc­u­men­tary by Sil­vio Tendler about a very well-in­ten­tioned pres­i­dent who did­n’t seem to be quite aware of the snake pit where he was, and yet it feels like there is not as much to be found here about Jan­go as about Brazil’s po­lit­i­cal sce­nario in the 1960s.


Ja­nis: Lit­tle Girl Blue (2015)

What this ex­cel­lent and well-di­rect­ed doc­u­men­tary does so well is cre­ate a pro­found­ly nu­anced por­trait of a sen­si­tive, three-di­men­sion­al woman who only want­ed to be hap­py, and it may not tell every­thing about her (how could it?) but of­fers a touch­ing look at her com­plex char­ac­ter.


Jau­ja (2014)

The stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy — in an al­most square ra­tio of round­ed cor­ners — knows how to ex­plore the green vast­ness of its land­scapes, but Alon­so mis­takes te­dious for con­tem­pla­tive, and it does­n’t help that the last half hour turns out to be a full in­cur­sion into ab­solute noth­ing­ness.


The Jazz Singer (1927)

No­table as the first fea­ture film with au­di­ble di­a­logue and touch­ing as it shows a man torn apart by a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion, it be­comes a dis­gust­ing melo­dra­ma in its last fif­teen min­utes, when its two pos­si­ble end­ings are thrown in to­geth­er and the char­ac­ter makes a most un­ac­cept­able choice.


Je Suis Char­lie (2015)

A bare­ly su­per­fi­cial re­cap struc­tured from te­dious scenes of wit­ness­es and friends of the vic­tims talk­ing end­less­ly to the cam­era (which is, well, the most frus­trat­ing kind of doc­u­men­tary) with­out adding any­thing new or of­fer­ing any in­sight into such a com­plex sub­ject.


Jean Charles (2009)

Fact is, Jean Charles would have nev­er had his life filmed if he had­n’t been killed in such re­volt­ing cir­cum­stances. Oth­er­wise, if not for such a lam­en­ta­ble in­ci­dent, he would only be an­oth­er dead man with a life sto­ry not in­ter­est­ing enough to be­come a film.


Jean de Flo­rette (1986)

It al­most makes us feel guilty that we are root­ing for the vil­lains, who con­spire so greed­i­ly to force a man off his own land, and is el­e­vat­ed even more by Jean-Claude Pe­tit’s won­der­ful score and two ex­cel­lent per­for­mances by Yves Mon­tand and Daniel Au­teuil.


Jeep­ers Creep­ers (2001)

De­spite the fact that the two main char­ac­ters are com­plete id­iots and the cin­e­matog­ra­phy is so dark that some­times it is re­al­ly hard to see what is in front of us, this is a fun and creepy hor­ror movie that is all the more in­trigu­ing when you know it was made by a con­vict­ed pe­dophile.


The Jef­frey Dah­mer Files (2012)

A poor­ly-put-to­geth­er com­bi­na­tion of talk­ing heads and cheap re-en­act­ments that of­fer no real in­sight into the mind of a se­r­i­al killer, ba­si­cal­ly telling what many of us al­ready know and not be­ing that in­ter­est­ing for those who know noth­ing about the case.


The Jerk (1979)

The most ir­ri­tat­ing thing in this film (apart from the gen­er­al­ly pedes­tri­an sense of hu­mor and lack of struc­ture) is that it can’t seem to de­cide if Steve Mar­t­in’s char­ac­ter is sup­posed to be a naive id­iot who does­n’t know any­thing or a quick-wit­ted smar­tass when­ev­er re­quired.


Jer­ry Maguire (1996)

The nar­ra­tive feels a bit long and could have cer­tain­ly been short­er, but Crowe car­ries out this well-writ­ten, su­perbly-edit­ed romance/character study with a lot of hon­esty and tal­ent, re­ly­ing on fan­tas­tic per­for­mances by Tom Cruise, Cuba Good­ing Jr. and Renée Zell­weger.


Jer­sey Boys (2014)

A dull, un­in­volv­ing and de­riv­a­tive biopic full of the clichés that East­wood has by now be­come an ex­pert on, and it does­n’t give us any rea­son why this sto­ry de­serves to be told or what makes those char­ac­ters re­mote­ly in­ter­est­ing be­sides Frankie Val­li’s voice.


Jer­sey Girl (2004)

Some may ar­gue that it has a heart (and it does), but it also has too many clichés — in­clud­ing a heavy-hand­ed sound­track that al­ways makes plain ex­plic­it what Af­fleck­’s char­ac­ter is feel­ing -, and it does­n’t help that his re­la­tion­ship with Liv Tyler’s is so forced from the get go.


Je­sus Camp (2006)

It is ap­palling to see the ne­far­i­ous ef­fects of re­li­gion and the fun­da­men­tal­ist in­doc­tri­na­tion of chil­dren car­ried out by those ig­no­rant, delu­sion­al min­is­ters who are so strong­ly com­mit­ted to brain­wash­ing them into be­com­ing a bunch of fa­nat­ics and turn­ing the USA into a theoc­ra­cy.


Je­sus Christ Su­per­star (1973)

A su­per tacky rock opera that looks aw­ful­ly out­dat­ed and has only a few good songs amid many hor­ri­ble ones (of course, An­drew Lloyd Web­ber and Tim Rice), but even worse is how it soon be­comes a te­dious, in­con­se­quen­tial se­ries of Bib­li­cal events af­ter a promis­ing be­gin­ning.


La Jetée (1962)

Con­sist­ing (al­most) en­tire­ly of still-shot black-and-white pho­tographs and a male voiceover nar­ra­tion, this is a mes­mer­iz­ing, po­et­ic and in­flu­en­tial pho­to-ro­man that uses an in­trigu­ing sci­ence-fic­tion con­cept to dis­cuss mem­o­ries and our tem­po­ral re­la­tion­ship with them.


Jezebel (1938)

A mi­nor melo­dra­ma that came as a con­so­la­tion prize for Davis, who did­n’t get the main role in Gone with the Wind — and, just like in that film, the pro­tag­o­nist is a spoiled, im­pu­dent woman who likes to ma­nip­u­late the men around her. The high­lights in­clude the el­e­gant di­a­logue and Davis’ fierce per­for­mance.


Jig­saw (2017)

This is the eighth film of the fran­chise, and so any­one who has ob­vi­ous­ly seen the pre­vi­ous movies be­fore jump­ing into this one will rec­og­nize all of the same tricks, plot de­vices and typ­i­cal twists, but still this in­stall­ment is en­ter­tain­ing and co­her­ent enough not to be a dis­as­ter.


Jim & Andy: The Great Be­yond — Fea­tur­ing a Very Spe­cial, Con­trac­tu­al­ly Ob­lig­at­ed Men­tion of Tony Clifton (2017)

It is quite nice to see these im­ages re­leased to the pub­lic af­ter so many years, now in a cu­ri­ous doc­u­men­tary that ex­plores Jim Car­rey’s cre­ative process show­ing us how he em­braced the char­ac­ter of Andy Kauf­man and even treat­ed him (as well as Tony Clifton) as a real hu­man be­ing.


Jim­my’s Hall (2014)

I hope this is not Loach’s fi­nal film as it has been ru­mored, a sol­id dra­ma that takes the easy way but shows in an hon­est man­ner how in all times re­li­gion has been a hin­drance to knowl­edge and plea­sure, as em­bod­ied here by Jim Nor­ton in a strong, nu­anced per­for­mance.


The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015)

The last ten min­utes are so dis­turb­ing and grotesque that they will leave me think­ing about this whole busi­ness for a long time, and even though Jareck­i’s meth­ods are eth­i­cal­ly ques­tion­able (he with­holds im­por­tant ev­i­dence), this is a fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary that sheds light on some­thing too bizarre to be real.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Even for those who are not into sushi, it can only be an enor­mous plea­sure to lis­ten to this 85-year-old sushi mas­ter (and the peo­ple around him) talk about his per­fec­tion­ism and love for what he does, as well as the man’s re­la­tion­ship with his el­dest son who is sup­posed to suc­ceed him.


Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010)

A very com­pelling doc­u­men­tary that takes a good look at one year in the life of a worka­holic diva of yore who was born to be in the spot­light, and it proves to be quite re­veal­ing not only about her need of star­dom and recog­ni­tion but also about show busi­ness it­self.


Joaquim (2017)

Cast­ing aside all of the glam­our that is usu­al­ly present in sto­ries about na­tion­al he­roes and mar­tyrs, this nu­anced char­ac­ter study is in­stead a nat­u­ral­is­tic por­trait of the man be­hind the hero and of the so­ciopo­lit­i­cal con­di­tions that would lead him to be­come a rev­o­lu­tion­ary.


Jodor­owsky’s Dune (2013)

An ex­treme­ly fas­ci­nat­ing, pro­found­ly frus­trat­ing yet also sur­pris­ing­ly cheer­ful ac­count of the great­est adap­ta­tion that nev­er was as glo­ri­ous­ly en­vis­aged by the mind of an artis­tic ge­nius ob­sessed with the idea that he was cre­at­ing a sa­cred mas­ter­piece that would change the uni­verse for­ev­er.


Joe (2013)

With Cage’s best and most nu­anced per­for­mance since Bad Lieu­tenant and a sol­id, sen­si­tive di­rec­tion by Green in what seems like the finest dra­ma of his ca­reer to date, this bleak film also of­fers out­stand­ing per­for­mances by Sheri­dan and (es­pe­cial­ly) non-ac­tor Poul­ter.


John Dies at the End (2012)

The com­plete mess of a plot tries at every cost to be a smart-ass com­e­dy filled with an off­beat hu­mor that, apart from a very few in­spired mo­ments, is sim­ply em­bar­rass­ing — as we can see, for in­stance, from an aw­ful arac­ni­cide joke in the movie’s ridicu­lous last hour.


John Wick (2014)

For those who like Tak­en and its se­quels, here is a much more styl­ish, grip­ping and smart ac­tion movie that boasts an awe­some sound­track, thrilling fight scenes and a badass Keanu Reeves shoot­ing, kick­ing and prov­ing that he can be an ac­tion movie star like few oth­ers.


John Wick: Chap­ter 2 (2017)

An ex­hil­a­rat­ing se­quel that does jus­tice to the first movie by ex­pand­ing this fas­ci­nat­ing world of crim­i­nals and as­sas­sins to an­oth­er lev­el with its rules, scope and reach, while at the same time of­fer­ing us more amaz­ing fight scenes, deaths (lots of them) and set pieces.


John Wick: Chap­ter 3 — Para­bel­lum (2019)

The ac­tion and fight­ing scenes are still thrilling enough to watch, but there is a ma­jor sense of lazy rep­e­ti­tion here; be­sides, the plot is not that con­sis­tent, and it be­comes hard to be­lieve the char­ac­ters’ dumb de­ci­sions or care about some­thing that does­n’t want to have an end.


John­ny Gui­tar (1954)

The first 45 min­utes are per­fect, with im­pec­ca­ble per­for­mances (Craw­ford at her best) and an ex­cep­tion­al di­a­logue, but then the film starts to lose steam and drag in a few mo­ments, while Vi­en­na’s peace­ful (pas­sive, that would be) mo­ti­va­tions be­come a bit ex­as­per­at­ing.


Jonathas’ For­est (2012)

The strong sec­ond half ben­e­fits from an im­pres­sive sound de­sign that im­mers­es us in a re­lent­less jun­gle to make us feel the char­ac­ter’s agony and iso­la­tion, but even so the re­sult feels a bit in­com­plete, as if less than a sum of its parts — parts which hard­ly come to­geth­er in a sat­is­fy­ing way.


Jour­nal de France (2012)

A fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary cen­tered on the work of a cu­ri­ous artist who kept a reg­is­ter of many episodes of our his­to­ry with his cam­era, and it is an ir­re­sistible col­lec­tion of amaz­ing footage of his­tor­i­cal events and new scenes that he shot through­out his beloved France.


Jour­ney to Italy (1954)

An in­ti­mate and in­volv­ing dra­ma about an un­hap­py cou­ple fac­ing the col­lapse of their mar­riage while on a trip that only ex­pos­es their mu­tu­al dis­con­tent. It feels sad and real, but it is a pity that the sto­ry ends in such an easy and ar­ti­fi­cial way.


Joy (2015)

Rus­sell tries so hard to lamp­shade the bla­tant ar­ti­fi­cial­i­ty (typ­i­cal of a soap opera) found in this ab­surd, un­be­liev­able sto­ry (based very slight­ly on true events) that the re­sult is, well, pret­ty hard to buy and to be en­gaged with, even if it is en­joy­able and most­ly re­fresh­ing to watch.


Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

De­spite its frag­ment­ed, dif­fuse struc­ture and ob­vi­ous lack of a nar­ra­tive cen­ter, this com­pe­tent Japan­ese hor­ror movie man­ages to cre­ate an op­pres­sive at­mos­phere with an in­trigu­ing mys­tery that can be pret­ty dis­turb­ing some­times, even if some of it also falls flat.


The Judge (2014)

If it weren’t for the strong per­for­mances, there would be very lit­tle else to com­mend in this sen­ti­men­tal, in­ter­minable and pre­dictable pile of clichés com­plete with one-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters, a ridicu­lous cin­e­matog­ra­phy and ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue from be­gin­ning to end.


The Judge and the As­sas­sin (1976)

De­spite its promis­ing premise, so­phis­ti­cat­ed di­rec­tion and wit­ty sense of hu­mor, it is a pity that this frus­trat­ing film does­n’t know how to ex­plore its themes into some­thing more con­sis­tent and feels only bu­reau­crat­ic and out­dat­ed, with not enough to of­fer us in terms of nar­ra­tive.


Judg­ment at Nurem­berg (1961)

An al­ways fas­ci­nat­ing court­room dra­ma whose tru­ly in­dis­putable cin­e­mat­ic strength lies in many un­for­get­table per­for­mances from the en­tire cast and an ex­treme­ly com­plex, thought-pro­vok­ing script that nev­er ceas­es to ques­tion our per­cep­tions about the case and His­to­ry it­self.


Jug Face (2013)

Nev­er make a pact with a de­mon, fine we all know that, and this lit­tle hor­ror movie, de­spite a rather cu­ri­ous idea (the pit, es­pe­cial­ly), does­n’t have much to of­fer be­yond that and does­n’t work in any lev­el — not as a tense slow-burn nor as an creepy hill­bil­ly sect sto­ry.


Ju­lia (1977)

This de­cent film has a great cin­e­matog­ra­phy and knows how to build ten­sion in a scene that takes place in a train, but apart from that it did­n’t de­serve most of the Os­car nom­i­na­tions and wins that it got and feels a bit un­clear about its pur­pose, reach­ing an an­ti­cli­mac­tic end­ing.


Ju­li­a’s Eyes (2010)

The stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy cre­ates a per­fect op­pres­sive at­mos­phere in this thriller that grows re­al­ly tense and fright­en­ing, but the film is also weak­ened by poor nar­ra­tive choic­es, and if you think in ret­ro­spect you will see some plot holes. Be­sides, the lame last scene is un­for­giv­able.


Julie & Ju­lia (2009)

A flawed movie that wants to be two sto­ries in one but is not so well edit­ed to make every­thing flow nat­u­ral­ly. Even so, what rais­es this light com­e­dy above av­er­age is def­i­nite­ly Meryl Streep, who once again turns some­thing high­ly or­di­nary into a pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence.


Juli­et of the Spir­its (1965)

Fellini’s first film in col­or is this bril­liant LSD-in­fused satire that en­chants us with its gor­geous art di­rec­tion and col­or­ful cos­tumes, while us­ing a mag­nif­i­cent sym­bol­ism to de­pict the psy­che of a pas­sive woman who needs to break free from the bon­fire of her mar­ried-life mar­tyr­dom.


Juli­et’s Band (2016)

I don’t see why this sto­ry was made into 48 min­utes of nar­ra­tive (too long for a short but too short for a fea­ture movie), since it has enough ma­te­r­i­al to fill up an ex­cel­lent long-length film — and the prob­lem here is ex­act­ly an abrupt and frus­trat­ing end­ing that does­n’t go any­where.


Juli­eta (2016)

I don’t know what is so rev­e­la­to­ry about what Juli­eta wants to tell her daugh­ter, all I know for sure is that this corny soap opera feels more like a cheap ex­cuse for Almod­ó­var to tell what­ev­er comes to his mind even if he does­n’t re­al­ly seem to have any­thing to say.


Ju­man­ji (1995)

The spe­cial ef­fects and make-up are atro­cious, and this ex­cru­ci­at­ing movie wants us to care about a sil­ly game that has noth­ing com­pelling or ad­ven­tur­ous about it and whose rules seem ridicu­lous­ly ar­bi­trary — and it all ends in an aw­ful­ly sen­ti­men­tal con­clu­sion.


The Jun­gle Book (1967)

In his de­sire to make a uni­ver­sal­ly well-re­ceived film, Walt Dis­ney de­cid­ed to play safe with this light-heart­ed and huge­ly en­ter­tain­ing de­light that would hard­ly not please every­one, with an ex­pres­sive an­i­ma­tion, great catchy songs and many adorable char­ac­ters.


The Jun­gle Book (2016)

The mag­nif­i­cent vi­su­al ef­fects seem to be the only thing that makes this new ver­sion worth watch­ing (de­spite the lame 3D), giv­en how every­thing else is so by the book (no pun in­tend­ed) and plays a bit too safe to be mem­o­rable — you will prob­a­bly for­get it right af­ter it is over.


Jupiter As­cend­ing (2015)

It gives good at­ten­tion to the de­tails of its uni­verse and has a stun­ning vi­su­al de­sign, but the plot is de­riv­a­tive, with an ex­cess of dei ex machi­na (the hand­some guy al­ways has to save the nar­row-mind­ed lady in dan­ger) and lame aliens who dis­play the same cul­tur­al habits as hu­mans.


Jupiter’s Moon (2017)

The fa­ther-son-like re­la­tion­ship that grows be­tween the two cen­tral char­ac­ters is forced and nev­er con­vinc­ing, and it is near­ly im­pos­si­ble to re­late to any­one in this ob­vi­ous al­le­go­ry that feels so much more rep­e­ti­tious and dull than in­spired or eye-open­ing as it clear­ly strives to be.


Juras­sic Park (1993)

A mod­ern clas­sic whose su­perb script is even more im­pres­sive than Spiel­berg’s ex­pert di­rec­tion and the jaw-drop­ping ef­fects to cre­ate the di­nosaurs — in­clud­ing sev­er­al scenes serv­ing mul­ti­ple func­tions and nar­ra­tive el­e­ments in­tro­duced that turn out to be es­sen­tial lat­er.


Juras­sic World (2015)

The vi­su­al ef­fects are as good as they can be — de­spite the asep­tic look of the es­tab­lish­ing shots of the park -, and this is an en­ter­tain­ing up­date of the di­nos to a new gen­er­a­tion even if it lacks the wow fac­tor and can’t match the orig­i­nal clas­sic in any way pos­si­ble.


Juras­sic World: Fall­en King­dom (2018)

More cyn­i­cal and ex­cit­ing than it has the right to be, this is a great se­quel that will make you jump and laugh in equal mea­sure and refuse to dis­ap­point you with its crazy amount of epic run-for-your-lives mo­ments and the way it wants to crit­i­cize the ugly bleak­ness of our times.


Just Like Broth­ers (2012)

A pleas­ant film that bal­ances light­ness, ten­der­ness and melan­choly with­out be­ing an ir­reg­u­lar ex­pe­ri­ence. The only prob­lem is that the three main char­ac­ters nev­er seem to ful­ly form the bond of friend­ship you ex­pect to see from the trip they are tak­ing to­geth­er.


Just Like Our Par­ents (2017)

Even though this weak and ex­treme­ly ir­reg­u­lar film does a few things right here and there, it is re­al­ly hard to over­look so many flaws, like the amount of clichés, the oc­ca­sion­al­ly cheesy di­a­logue and the poor char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of its char­ac­ters (and their mo­ti­va­tions).


Jus­tice (2004)

Adopt­ing a pure­ly ob­ser­va­tion­al ap­proach with­out even a nar­ra­tion or voice-over, di­rec­tor Maria Au­gus­ta Ramos lets us have a look at the Brazil­ian jus­tice sys­tem from a few dif­fer­ent an­gles and needs no ef­fort to ex­pose a great deal about the coun­try’s abysmal so­cial in­equal­i­ty.


Jus­tice League (2017)

Avoid­ing most of the ir­ri­tat­ing solem­ni­ty of Bat­man vs Su­per­man, DC man­ages to find a sol­id bal­ance be­tween en­ter­tain­ing and fun­ny, with he­roes that earn our sym­pa­thy and an ex­cit­ing plot that knows how to bring them to­geth­er as a team, even if the vil­lain is rather ridicu­lous.


K (2015)

In its de­sire to be faith­ful to Kafka’s sto­ry, even as its set­ting is moved to In­ner Mon­go­lia, this pass­able adap­ta­tion man­ages to cap­ture the hi­lar­i­ous­ness of the plot’s sur­re­al bu­reau­cra­cy but is harmed by an un­wise choice to end as abrupt­ly as the in­com­plete nov­el.


Ka­boom (2010)

A dis­joint­ed film in which every­thing seems painful­ly ar­bi­trary and with no sense of pur­pose, suf­fer­ing from an un­fo­cused script, a clum­sy di­rec­tion and an ex­pos­i­to­ry last scene — and it is­n’t fun­ny as a hip­ster com­e­dy nor in­trigu­ing enough as a mys­tery as it wants to be.


Kan­da­har (2001)

It is true that Makhmal­baf tends to re­peat him­self some­times (like with a re­dun­dant voice-over), but he casts a pow­er­ful look at a coun­try liv­ing un­der the rule of Tal­iban and dom­i­nat­ed by pover­ty and re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism — which forced women into com­plete sub­ju­ga­tion.


Katzel­mach­er (1969)

One of Fass­binder’s first films is this cyn­i­cal sto­ry that, even though not re­mark­able, was al­ready an ear­ly in­di­ca­tion of his tal­ent as a film­mak­er — some­thing vis­i­ble in the way he com­bines the nat­u­ral­is­tic style of the Nou­velle Vague with a de­tached, Brecht­ian mode of act­ing.


Keep Go­ing (2018)

It is a very risky move to make Samuel so un­lik­able right away and then try to hu­man­ize him for the view­ers, but the abrupt shift is nev­er con­vinc­ing and the film feels com­plete­ly lost, drift­ing much like the char­ac­ters through forced sit­u­a­tions that don’t lead any­where.


Keep the Lights On (2012)

The kind of gay-themed dra­ma that is be­com­ing in­creas­ing­ly rare nowa­days: one that is bru­tal­ly hon­est and dev­as­tat­ing like real love can be when ru­ined by drug ad­dic­tion and by one per­son­’s de­pen­dence on an­oth­er — which, if at first en­rag­ing, earns its place as the true core of the sto­ry.


Keep­er of Promis­es, or The Giv­en Word (1962)

Cul­tur­al­ly sig­nif­i­cant and so lucky to have been made pri­or to the Brazil­ian mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship, this is a mas­ter­class in mise-en-scène and edit­ing (the first Brazil­ian film to be nom­i­nat­ed for the Os­cars), as well as a dar­ing look at blind faith, re­li­gious in­tol­er­ance and sen­sa­tion­al­ism.


Khar­toum (1966)

The tech­ni­cal as­pects are just de­cent for this sort of ma­jor pro­duc­tion that wants so much to be the next Lawrence of Ara­bia (take a look at the ir­reg­u­lar cin­e­matog­ra­phy in the night scenes), but this is an in­ter­est­ing epic with an ex­cel­lent script for those (like me) who love war strat­e­gy.


Kick-Ass (2010)

Aaron John­son is a very tal­ent­ed and charis­mat­ic young ac­tor, and his char­ac­ter’s adorable anti-charm, com­bined with the awe­some fight­ing skills of Chloe Moret­z’s Hit-Girl and the film’s com­ic book style and bloody vi­o­lence, makes this an end­less­ly fun su­per­hero movie.


Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

By try­ing to com­bine an id­i­ot­ic slap­stick hu­mor and the graph­ic vi­o­lence that char­ac­ter­ized the first film, the re­sult is an ir­reg­u­lar se­quel that, even if some­times ex­cit­ing and able to make us laugh, is to­tal­ly un­nec­es­sary and nev­er on a par with that ex­cel­lent movie.


The Kid (1921)

Al­though I find un­nec­es­sary the dream se­quence near the end, this is a great 6‑reeler that finds the per­fect bal­ance be­tween fun­ny and touch­ing — and the high­light is sweet lit­tle co-star Jack­ie Coogan, who steals every scene he is in.


The Kid with a Bike (2011)

Al­though in­ter­est­ing at first, this dra­ma is a frus­trat­ing ef­fort that does­n’t seem to have much to say, while the char­ac­ters are not well con­struct­ed or de­vel­oped, the con­flicts seem ar­ti­fi­cial and, more an­noy­ing than any­thing else, the young pro­tag­o­nist is way too un­lik­able.


Kids (1995)

Like a car ac­ci­dent that you can’t avert your eyes from, this is an un­set­tling dis­play of so­ciopa­thy and delin­quen­cy on the part of a group of hate­ful, re­pel­lent teens, though it al­most works as a rel­e­vant so­cial com­men­tary on ado­les­cence and AIDS. I said al­most.


The Kids Are All Right (2010)

I don’t know why this film is la­beled a com­e­dy since it has noth­ing to laugh about. In fact, it is a pa­thet­ic lit­tle dra­ma that wants to make you feel lib­er­al ac­cept­ing a fam­i­ly of les­bians, but the char­ac­ters are poor­ly de­vel­oped, the con­flicts are ar­ti­fi­cial and clichéd, and the sto­ry lacks dra­mat­ic dri­ve.


Kids for Cash (2013)

An in­fu­ri­at­ing (and dev­as­tat­ing) doc­u­men­tary that shows how a de­spi­ca­ble judge was re­spon­si­ble for ru­in­ing the lives of thou­sands of teenagers and fam­i­lies in a shock­ing scan­dal that could have only tak­en place in a ju­di­cial sys­tem cor­rupt­ed by aber­ra­tions like for-prof­it pris­ons.


Kik­i’s De­liv­ery Ser­vice (1989)

An av­er­age Miyaza­ki film that does­n’t de­vel­op so well its many el­e­ments into a co­he­sive nar­ra­tive as it should — like for ex­am­ple the char­ac­ter’s sud­den loss of pow­er and her in­abil­i­ty to make friends. The re­sult is amus­ing, even if not that sat­is­fy­ing.


Kill, Baby… Kill! (1966)

As a typ­i­cal Mario Bava film, it aged quite poor­ly and has a lot of plot holes; still, if what you are look­ing for is mood and at­mos­phere, this great­ly in­flu­en­tial ghost sto­ry has plen­ty of that to of­fer and looks awe­some with its sat­u­rat­ed col­ors, creepy sets and evoca­tive com­po­si­tions.


Kill List (2011)

A point­less and con­fus­ing mix of fam­i­ly dra­ma, hit­man thriller and gory hor­ror that lacks en­er­gy, ten­sion and is nev­er en­gag­ing, with so many plot holes, ter­ri­ble pac­ing and ugly jump cuts — and not even a creepy twist in the end (which makes no sense) saves it from be­ing a bore.


Kill the Mes­sen­ger (2014)

Af­ter an en­gag­ing first half that trusts our abil­i­ty to put to­geth­er the de­tails of this whole af­fair as we fol­low its char­ac­ter, this strong po­lit­i­cal dra­ma is sad­ly weak­ened by some an­noy­ing clichés, in­clud­ing that of him be­com­ing an “ob­sessed man who moves away from his fam­i­ly.”


Kill Your Dar­lings (2013)

A very en­gag­ing biopic, even more for those ac­quaint­ed with these Beat Gen­er­a­tion po­ets but not with this ear­ly event in their lives in­volv­ing a de­ci­sive mur­der — and Rad­cliffe and De­Haan shine with a sur­pris­ing chem­istry to­geth­er, lead­ing a great en­sem­ble cast.


Kill Your Friends (2015)

I liked this sto­ry a lot more when it was called Amer­i­can Psy­cho — come on, let’s face it, the com­par­i­son is in­evitable -, but still, even if it starts to be pre­dictable and lose gas af­ter halfway through, this is a de­cent, dark­ly hu­mored film cen­tered on a rot­ten char­ac­ter.


Killed the Fam­i­ly and Went to the Movies (1969)

In­cred­i­bly au­da­cious (yet also a bit ir­reg­u­lar) for the time it was made, Bres­sane’s clas­sic un­der­ground film is an in­tel­li­gent ex­per­i­men­ta­tion that uses a se­ries of dis­con­nect­ed scenes to draw a sharp and bleak por­trait of a des­per­ate so­ci­ety.


Killer Elite (2011)

With a a messy script full of ex­pos­i­to­ry di­a­logue, con­fus­ing mo­ti­va­tions and plot holes, this un­in­ter­est­ing and gener­ic movie is also only able to move for­ward by re­ly­ing on stu­pid char­ac­ters who are no more a killer elite than a bunch of in­com­pe­tent am­a­teurs.


Killer Joe (2011)

It is like the Coen broth­ers meet David Lynch in this de­praved, vi­cious and in­cred­i­bly grip­ping fes­ti­val of sadism that Fried­kin puts us through — a spec­tac­u­lar thriller that is both bru­tal and hi­lar­i­ous in a twist­ed way, like what he did in his fan­tas­tic Bug, also writ­ten by Tra­cy Letts.


Killer Klowns from Out­er Space (1988)

With more hits than miss­es, this amus­ing alien mon­ster movie looks great and does de­liv­er a lot of fun­ny mo­ments and all the goofy fun that is promised in the ti­tle — even though it can be very sil­ly at times, es­pe­cial­ly in its harm­less end­ing.


The Killing (1956)

Kubrick al­ready showed ear­ly signs of his ge­nius when he brought us this mas­ter­piece, an elab­o­rate heist thriller full of rich de­tails for its time, with a de­li­cious­ly wry di­a­logue and a sus­pense­ful plot that grows un­bear­ably tense un­til the very end.


The Killing Fields (1984)

With the film’s gut-wrench­ing first half de­vot­ed to de­pict­ing with grit­ty re­al­ism and a beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy the takeover of Cam­bo­dia by the Khmer Rouge, the sec­ond half re­lies on Ngor’s su­perb per­for­mance to show a man in an amaz­ing strug­gle to es­cape from hell.


Killing Them Soft­ly (2012)

An ex­treme­ly tense and bru­tal thriller that makes an in­tel­li­gent com­par­i­son be­tween the mafia and the Amer­i­can eco­nom­ic sys­tem, even though the anal­o­gy is also a bit heavy-hand­ed, and it ben­e­fits from a de­lib­er­ate pace and great per­for­mances from a sharp cast.


Kind Hearts and Coro­nets (1949)

Alec Guin­ness is fan­tas­tic play­ing eight dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters but it is Den­nis Price who shines in this wit­ty, de­light­ful British dark com­e­dy that proves so com­pelling show­ing the minu­ti­ae of the main char­ac­ter’s plan to elim­i­nate eight peo­ple in or­der to ob­tain a ti­tle.


The Kinder­garten Teacher (2014)

It has a cu­ri­ous premise, like a mod­ern ver­sion of Amadeus (only with po­et­ry, an un­ap­pre­ci­at­ed art form in our days, in lieu of mu­sic), fol­low­ing a mad­ly ob­sessed woman who ex­ploits a poor child to whom the gift of art comes so easy, but the film drags and feels a bit repet­i­tive at times.


King Arthur: Leg­end of the Sword (2017)

Guy Ritchie con­tin­ues to make over­styl­ized ver­sions of clas­sic sto­ries, only this one is a te­dious and de­riv­a­tive ac­tion movie that seems like a des­per­ate dis­play of viril­i­ty — let’s be hon­est, in­stead of a sword, it would have been more hon­est to just show Arthur wield­ing his pe­nis.


King Co­bra (2016)

Chris­t­ian Slater is re­al­ly good and com­pen­sates for some poor per­for­mances by oth­er ac­tors (es­pe­cial­ly Ali­cia Sil­ver­stone), and the film uses an in­ter­est­ing struc­ture (based on clever par­al­lels) to de­vel­op its char­ac­ters in a way that lets us grasp their mo­ti­va­tions.


A King in New York (1957)

A sat­is­fy­ing though un­even Chap­lin com­e­dy clear­ly en­vis­aged as a crit­i­cism on the Amer­i­can so­ci­ety and the ab­sur­di­ty of Mc­Carthy­ism. There are some mem­o­rable scenes, in­clud­ing a hi­lar­i­ous sur­prise din­ner, but also just as many less suc­cess­ful ones.


King Kong (1933)

Few im­ages can be as icon­ic in the his­to­ry of Cin­e­ma as King Kong on top of the Em­pire State build­ing fight­ing air­planes, and this is an en­ter­tain­ing clas­sic that should be re­mem­bered for those stop-mo­tion spe­cial ef­fects that were ab­solute­ly amaz­ing for the time it was made.


The King of Com­e­dy (1982)

An un­set­tling, un­der­rat­ed and for a very long time mis­un­der­stood Scors­ese film that ben­e­fits from ex­cel­lent per­for­mances by De Niro, Lewis and Bern­hard, and it is its cyn­i­cal end­ing that el­e­vates it to the lev­el of bril­liant satire about the pow­er of sen­sa­tion­al­ism in our times.


The King’s Speech (2010)

A fas­ci­nat­ing pe­ri­od dra­ma that will prob­a­bly please every­one (and find few de­trac­tors), with great di­a­logue and ex­quis­ite per­for­mances by Firth and Rush, who shine in their scenes to­geth­er and sell us the nat­ur­al re­la­tion­ship that grows be­tween the two char­ac­ters.


The Kings of Sum­mer (2013)

The kind of re­fresh­ing and fun­ny in­die dram­e­dy tai­lor-made to charm every­one at Sun­dance, with its share of in­die clichés and a di­rec­tor who seems very ea­ger to show that he can di­rect, and it is worth see­ing es­pe­cial­ly be­cause of Nick Of­fer­man and Moi­ses Arias, both hi­lar­i­ous.


Kings­man: The Se­cret Ser­vice (2014)

An ex­hil­a­rat­ing and sub­ver­sive homage to old spy movies that boasts a smart and huge­ly en­ter­tain­ing plot, a great cast (Jack­son is hi­lar­i­ous), a fab­u­lous pro­duc­tion and cos­tume de­sign, and a de­li­cious­ly styl­ized vi­o­lence that makes this the Kick-Ass of spy movies.


Kings­man: The Gold­en Cir­cle (2017)

It is ir­ri­tat­ing how it feels like the pro­duc­ers want to Amer­i­can­ize the fran­chise and make it more ac­ces­si­ble to its Amer­i­can au­di­ence, and even though the movie is rel­a­tive­ly amus­ing and has its ex­cit­ing mo­ments here and there, it lacks fo­cus and does­n’t have any struc­ture.


Kirik­ou and the Sor­cer­ess (1998)

An en­joy­able and sim­ple an­i­ma­tion with an hon­est moral les­son, though clear­ly made for very small chil­dren. It makes for a good time, es­pe­cial­ly in its sec­ond act, but the end­ing could have been bet­ter.


Kiss of the Spi­der Woman (1985)

It is re­mark­able how this film turned out to be so su­perb and pro­found de­spite all the many cuts and re-ed­its it went through in post-pro­duc­tion, sur­pris­ing us with its di­rec­tion, edit­ing and two ex­cep­tion­al cen­tral per­for­mances — es­pe­cial­ly William Hurt, who de­served the Os­car he won.


Knife+Heart (2018)

Al­though it may be ini­tial­ly fun to watch this trashy erot­ic thriller for its styl­ized vi­su­als and ex­ag­ger­at­ed act­ing (which makes it even in­ad­ver­tent­ly fun­ny at times), it un­folds like a Lu­cio Ful­ci gi­al­lo: de­void of ten­sion or con­sis­ten­cy, te­dious and seem­ing­ly lost about its own pur­pose.


Knight of Cups (2015)

Mal­ick seems to have be­come one of those old pals who love to tell the same sto­ry over and over in par­ties, and so he gives us this re­dun­dant, rep­e­ti­tious and, well, pre­ten­tious med­i­ta­tion that does­n’t even have the con­sis­ten­cy and beau­ty of The Tree of Life and To the Won­der.


Knocked Up (2007)

A good com­e­dy, fun­ny and sweet, whose first hour is so hi­lar­i­ous and raunchy it had me laugh­ing real hard. Af­ter that, how­ev­er, it be­comes a bit ir­reg­u­lar and stretch­es for too long, with some un­nec­es­sary and un­fun­ny jokes that could have been eas­i­ly left out.


Kon-Tiki (2012)

An en­gag­ing odyssey with a stun­ning cin­e­matog­ra­phy that uses an ap­pro­pri­ate­ly large depth of field to ex­plore the vast­ness of the high sea. Also, the char­ac­ters are com­plex and well de­fined in their mo­ti­va­tions, in a sto­ry that man­ages to be quite tense.


Kong: Skull Is­land (2017)

It is hard to care about any­thing in this vi­su­al­ly asep­tic (yet oc­ca­sion­al­ly en­joy­able) mon­ster movie whose CGI is so ar­ti­fi­cial that it feels like watch­ing some­one play video game — in­clud­ing an aw­ful ex­cess of lens flares and too much bor­ing ac­tion for very lit­tle sub­stance.


Koy­aanisqat­si (1982)

What makes this film so mes­mer­iz­ing is how it is es­sen­tial­ly struc­tured through vi­su­al par­al­lels and con­tin­u­ous rep­e­ti­tion (em­pha­sized by Philip Glass’s mu­sic) to bril­liant­ly il­lus­trate the me­chan­ics of our world as a fast-paced in­san­i­ty of peo­ple, cars, ex­press­ways, ma­chines and de­struc­tion.


Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

A pro­found­ly af­fect­ing fam­i­ly dra­ma in which every­thing con­spires for some­thing so per­fect that you must be dead if you are not moved, and it re­lies on a beau­ti­ful script that re­fus­es to take sides and on ex­cep­tion­al per­for­mances by Dustin Hoff­man, Meryl Streep and Justin Hen­ry.


Kram­pus (2015)

Michael Dougher­ty is no Joe Dante, and his at­tempt to mix hor­ror and com­e­dy is only un­scary and un­fun­ny — a per­func­to­ry, pre­dictable and unin­spired Christ­mas movie plagued with char­ac­ters so hate­ful that I want­ed Kram­pus to kill them all so that it would be fi­nal­ly over.


Kr­isha (2015)

I like how Shults makes us ex­pe­ri­ence the dis­com­fort felt by his pro­tag­o­nist us­ing a dis­so­nant mu­sic and long wide-an­gle shots, cre­at­ing a film that is so de­press­ing and hard to stom­ach that we even for­give him when it feels like he is pay­ing too much at­ten­tion to his own di­rec­tion.


Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

With an­noy­ing char­ac­ters, a stu­pid pro­tag­o­nist and a messy plot that is more con­fus­ing than en­light­en­ing like it wants to be, this stun­ning stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion is pre­dictable, un­fun­ny and full of cheesy clichés that will please those who don’t mind a sto­ry with­out much imag­i­na­tion.


Kuma (2012)

Cen­tered on two women from a Turk­ish fam­i­ly liv­ing in Vi­en­na, this sen­si­tive and in­volv­ing dra­ma takes a care­ful time to let us un­der­stand them in­stead of judg­ing their ac­tions — thanks es­pe­cial­ly to Koldas and Akkaya, who per­fect­ly con­vey all the emo­tion need­ed for their roles.


Kung Fu Hus­tle (2004)

With an­oth­er fan­tas­tic com­bi­na­tion of mar­tial arts, non­sen­si­cal hu­mor and car­toon­ish spe­cial ef­fects, Stephen Chow’s fol­low-up to Shaolin Soc­cer may not be as in­ces­sant­ly hi­lar­i­ous as that film but is an amaz­ing en­ter­tain­ment for those who love great fight scenes and sur­pris­es.


Kursk (2018)

The film does a fine job in de­vel­op­ing its char­ac­ters (and the re­la­tion­ship be­tween them) and cre­at­ing a strong feel of claus­tro­pho­bia (es­pe­cial­ly with a tense long take that makes us hold our breath), but it also los­es fo­cus in its sec­ond half with un­nec­es­sary melo­dra­ma and not a real pay­off.


Kurt Cobain: Mon­tage of Heck (2015)

A com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­men­tary that com­bines a great amount of video and au­dio footage with gor­geous an­i­ma­tion and in­ter­views to cre­ate a pro­found­ly re­veal­ing char­ac­ter study, even if the fi­nal re­sult feels a bit too long and some things are left hang­ing — like, where is Dave Grohl?


La Bam­ba (1987)

A re­fresh­ing biopic about a short-lived star who met with a trag­ic death (trag­ic and also iron­ic con­sid­er­ing his fear of fly­ing and how his fate was de­cid­ed by the flip of a coin), and it is so en­gag­ing that it breaks our hearts even if we know from the get-go how every­thing ends.


La­bor Day (2013)

Where­as the first half may feel a tad un­con­vinc­ing and pre­dictable, with just too many clichés, it soon be­comes com­plex and gen­uine­ly touch­ing (al­ways ac­com­pa­nied by a beau­ti­ful score) — reach­ing an ef­fi­cient­ly tense third act that makes up for all the sap­pi­ness that came be­fore.


Labyrinth (1986)

A de­light­ful fan­ta­sy ad­ven­ture clear­ly in­spired by The Wiz­ard of Oz (the book ap­pears in at least two scenes) and fairy tales (even a poi­soned fruit is there), and its dat­ed vi­su­al ef­fects and cheesy mu­si­cal num­bers have a charm only found in these movies of the ’80s.


Labyrinth of Lies (2014)

It has the bland and unin­spired aes­thet­ics of a film made for tele­vi­sion but at least un­der­stands well the com­plex­i­ty of its sub­ject mat­ter de­spite some typ­i­cal clichés of TV movies, like the pro­tag­o­nist giv­ing in to al­co­hol abuse and his in­com­pre­hen­si­ble de­ci­sion in the third act.


Lac­rimosa (1970)

Rauli­no is a di­rec­tor who fol­lows his own in­stincts, and there is some­thing quite ur­gent and des­per­ate in the way his silent cam­era moves and zooms, fran­tic and wild, ex­pos­ing a city’s pu­trid guts where “garbage is the only means of sur­vival.”


Ladies in Laven­der (2004)

It does­n’t take us any ef­fort to un­der­stand the gen­uine fas­ci­na­tion cre­at­ed by the mys­te­ri­ous and hand­some young man played by Daniel Brühl, but this un­re­mark­able British dra­ma is only worth it for the su­perb per­for­mances by Judi Dench and Mag­gie Smith.


The Ladies Man (1961)

When it is­n’t fun­ny (which hap­pens quite fre­quent­ly, to be hon­est), at least it holds out at­ten­tion, but when it is, the film can make you laugh un­til you wet your pants (es­pe­cial­ly in a hi­lar­i­ous scene with Bud­dy Lester). Too bad it al­most gets lost in its un­even last half hour.


The Lady (2011)

Besson turns this real sto­ry into a con­ven­tion­al, un­der­whelm­ing movie and stretch­es it for­ev­er, but still Michelle Yeoh does her best to lend an aura of el­e­gance and hon­or to a char­ac­ter that ut­ters cheap sound­bites all the time to jus­ti­fy her poor­ly de­vel­oped ac­tions.


Lady and the Tramp (1955)

Make sure you watch the orig­i­nal Cin­e­maS­cope widescreen ver­sion of this great Dis­ney an­i­ma­tion and be charmed by its stun­ning, vivid col­ors, sweet songs, adorable char­ac­ters and that mem­o­rable spaghet­ti scene that con­veys all the ro­mance of the “love­ly bel­la notte.”


The Lady Eve (1941)

With a per­fect bal­ance be­tween farce, screw­ball, slap­stick, ro­mance and even sus­pense, this is a wit­ty com­e­dy that re­lies on a de­light­ful di­a­logue (which should be con­sid­ered one of the finest ever writ­ten) and a won­der­ful chem­istry be­tween Bar­bara Stan­wyck and Hen­ry Fon­da.


The Lady in the Van (2015)

The biggest prob­lem with this wit­less, ex­cru­ci­at­ing movie is that it feels al­most im­pos­si­ble to have any sym­pa­thy for such an odi­ous old lady (is she sup­posed to be adorable in her an­noy­ing ec­cen­tric­i­ty? I can’t tell), and I could­n’t wait to see her die so it would be fi­nal­ly over.


Lady Jane (2008)

This French crime dra­ma be­gins promis­ing but lacks enough strength in the de­vel­op­ment of its premise, as it sim­ply comes down to an or­di­nary mes­sage about re­venge lead­ing to more re­venge, but still the plot has a good at­mos­phere of mys­tery and some nice twists.


Lady Mac­beth (2016)

Flo­rence Pugh is a rev­e­la­tion, de­liv­er­ing an as­ton­ish­ing per­for­mance in this tense, slow-burn­ing pe­ri­od dra­ma about a woman com­pelled by dark cir­cum­stances to act in ques­tion­able ways in or­der to sur­vive an op­pres­sive en­vi­ron­ment that would eas­i­ly crush her oth­er­wise.


The Lady Van­ish­es (1938)

An en­joy­able but over­rat­ed film that wants so much to be fun­ny (and make fun of British peo­ple who think only about their own prob­lems) that it does­n’t have any ten­sion, with a plot that, even with a cu­ri­ous premise, is just too con­trived to be tak­en se­ri­ous­ly.


La­gaan: Once Upon a Time in In­dia (2001)

An en­ter­tain­ing movie about the im­por­tance of not ac­cept­ing de­feat when in face of the tough­est ob­sta­cles and how we should do every­thing in our pow­er to suc­ceed, with faith and courage — and it even finds space to dis­cuss mat­ters like prej­u­dice along the way.


Lake Mun­go (2008)

As far as hor­ror mock­u­men­taries go, this is a bleak and very well-made study of loss and grief that may not be as scary as it is spooky but builds a com­pelling mys­tery as fam­i­ly se­crets are ex­posed and we be­gin to re­al­ize that things are not ex­act­ly what they seem to be.


Land of Mine (2015)

The film is grip­ping and tense enough to com­pen­sate for the main char­ac­ter’s prob­lems in char­ac­ter­i­za­tion — es­pe­cial­ly his abrupt change in be­hav­ior to­wards the Ger­man boys, which comes off as forced and heavy-hand­ed -, and it also ben­e­fits from a strong end­ing.


Land of Obliv­ion (2011)

This grip­ping re­count­ing of a real tragedy ben­e­fits from a grad­ual sense of dan­ger in its first half and the ac­tu­al lo­ca­tion of the ghost town of Pryp­i­at in the sec­ond. Even so, the film does­n’t man­age so well to gen­er­ate em­pa­thy due to its un­in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters.


Land of São Saruê (1971)

By ap­proach­ing what it ex­pos­es with both a clin­i­cal eye (al­most like a sci­en­tif­ic ar­ti­cle) and a po­et­ic lens, this poignant doc­u­men­tary is a de­fin­i­tive the­sis on pover­ty in the North­east of Brazil and the un­just ex­ploita­tion of mis­er­able peo­ple liv­ing in a land of rich­ness.


Land of Si­lence and Dark­ness (1971)

Her­zog cre­ates a sad and mov­ing doc­u­men­tary that touch­es us by of­fer­ing a glimpse of what it must be like to be locked in­side a deaf-blind body (since we can nev­er know ex­act­ly how it feels like) and to find it so hard to com­mu­ni­cate with oth­er peo­ple and the world around.


Land of the Dead (2005)

An un­nec­es­sary fourth en­try in the zom­bie tril­o­gy even if it of­fers an­oth­er in­ter­est­ing so­cial com­men­tary. With poor­ly-writ­ten di­a­logue and char­ac­ters we nev­er care about, this film will prob­a­bly please those more in­ter­est­ed in new ways of slaugh­ter and blood spew­ing.


Lars and the Real Girl (2007)

This won­der­ful film could have so eas­i­ly been made into a sil­ly com­e­dy but is for­tu­nate­ly in­stead a bit­ter­sweet dra­ma that re­lies on a cap­ti­vat­ing per­for­mance by the al­ways tal­ent­ed Ryan Gosling, who gives life to a sen­si­tive char­ac­ter that nev­er seems less than real.


The Last Air­ben­der (2010)

It is no sur­prise that af­ter two atroc­i­ties Shya­malan could­n’t make some­thing su­pe­ri­or, and so, by try­ing to com­prise an en­tire sea­son of the Nick­elodeon an­i­mat­ed se­ries into one sin­gle movie, he cre­ates an in­com­pre­hen­si­ble nar­ra­tive with pedes­tri­an di­a­logue and aw­ful act­ing.


Last Chants for a Slow Dance (1977)

As im­per­fect as this low-bud­get dra­ma is, with its sound de­fects, ram­bling mo­ments and lack of bet­ter co­he­sion, it also im­press­es for be­ing a se­ries of large­ly-im­pro­vised, long-take scenes that de­lin­eate at each turn its char­ac­ter’s state of mind and drift­ing ex­is­tence.


Last Con­ver­sa­tions (2015)

Fol­low­ing As Canções as an­oth­er sim­ple doc­u­men­tary cen­tered on in­ter­views with com­mon peo­ple (this time teenage stu­dents), Coutinho’s posthu­mous film (edit­ed af­ter his trag­ic death) turns out to be sub­tly re­veal­ing as well in the way it ex­pos­es so­cial in­equal­i­ty in Brazil.


Last Days (2005)

If Van San­t’s in­ten­tion was to de­pict Kurt Cobain’s last days as te­dious and de­void of mean­ing as pos­si­ble, he sure­ly achieved what he want­ed, but his biggest pre­sump­tion was to be­lieve that the view­ers would fall for this in­suf­fer­ably bor­ing, self-in­dul­gent joke.


The Last Ex­or­cism (2010)

A com­pe­tent mock­u­men­tary that em­ploys a pre­cise pace to fol­low a char­la­tan Rev­erend who ex­ploits peo­ple for mon­ey un­til he en­coun­ters more than he bar­gained for. Suf­fice to say that it grows re­al­ly ter­ri­fy­ing, but the edit­ing is flawed like most pro­duc­tions of the kind.


The Last Ex­or­cism Part II (2013)

De­spite the de­lib­er­ate pac­ing that helps build ten­sion, here is an­oth­er se­quel (to a good hor­ror movie) that drops the sub­jec­tive cam­era for no rea­son along with its main rea­son to ex­ist — and it is hard not to be in­fu­ri­at­ed by its stu­pid, in­con­clu­sive end­ing.


The Last Face (2016)

The jumps in time pre­vent us from get­ting clos­er to its char­ac­ters, and it is easy to un­der­stand why so many peo­ple hat­ed this film when we see a cheesy love sto­ry be­tween a white cou­ple made more im­por­tant than what there is to say about the hor­rors that hap­pen in Africa.


The Last House on the Left (1972)

Ex­ploita­tion is sup­posed to be fun, but there is no fun here un­less you get off on see­ing vile scenes of rape and bru­tal­i­ty, and the movie is so trashy and tonal­ly aw­ful that it be­comes bizarre the way it com­bines all that ugly vi­o­lence with a ridicu­lous, child­ish sense of hu­mor.


Last Men in Alep­po (2017)

The sight of the wrecked city and those dead chil­dren is dev­as­tat­ing enough to leave us shak­en, and the film, de­spite a cer­tain ques­tion­able pre­cios­i­ty, al­most makes us feel like we are there next to those men risk­ing their own lives to res­cue peo­ple from un­der the rub­ble.


The Last Metro (1980)

While the film is al­ways en­gag­ing and does a great job show­ing the ca­ma­raderie that grows in the con­text of a the­atre pro­duc­tion (even in hard times), it is a shame that the love in­ter­est be­tween Deneuve and De­par­dieu’s char­ac­ters does not trans­late well to the screen and feels forced.


Last Night (2010)

An hon­est though unim­pres­sive movie with de­cent per­for­mances, es­pe­cial­ly Keira Knight­ley, who shines in this sto­ry of doubt, de­sire and be­tray­al. Still, it is too bad that af­ter nine­ty min­utes of slow build-up it sim­ply does­n’t of­fer a real pay-off.


The Last Samu­rai (2003)

I will nev­er re­al­ly un­der­stand why this pow­er­ful epic is so gen­er­al­ly over­looked and un­der­rat­ed, when in fact it should be re­gard­ed as an ex­tra­or­di­nary mas­ter­piece about hon­or, love, loy­al­ty and re­demp­tion, beau­ti­ful­ly pho­tographed, great­ly act­ed and with a gor­geous score.


The Last Se­duc­tion (1994)

An ef­fi­cient film noir with a clever plot and an ex­treme­ly di­a­bol­i­cal femme fa­tale played by a very in­spired Lin­da Fiorenti­no. Also de­serv­ing praise is Bill Pull­man, who is sur­pris­ing­ly fun­ny as the fu­ri­ous hus­band try­ing to catch her in this wit­ty cat-and-mouse game.


Last Shift (2014)

It may be hard to be­lieve that Harkavy’s char­ac­ter would­n’t just leave the po­lice sta­tion un­der such hor­rif­ic cir­cum­stances, but the ac­tress does a great job sell­ing us her strong per­se­ver­ance in a high­ly creepy, low-bud­get hor­ror film that of­fers some very dis­turb­ing mo­ments.


Last Year at Marien­bad (1961)

A mes­mer­iz­ing film that im­press­es for Resnais’ ex­cep­tion­al di­rec­tion as he cre­ates an enig­mat­ic dream­like ex­pe­ri­ence that blends mem­o­ry and re­al­i­ty through its unique use of edit­ing and keeps us al­ways in doubt whether what we are wit­ness­ing is the prod­uct of some­one’s mind.


Lau­ra (1944)

A good who­dunit noir that, de­spite a plot weak­ened by con­trivances (the worst be­ing the de­tec­tive falling in love with a dead wom­an’s por­trait), is mem­o­rable most­ly be­cause of David Raksin’s score and the film’s great di­a­logue (with Clifton Webb, fan­tas­tic, get­ting the most cyn­i­cal, price­less lines).


Lau­rence Any­ways (2012)

Dolan’s first mis­step in his so far promis­ing ca­reer, and it is true that he had shown be­fore a pen­chant for over-styl­iza­tion but now he seems to think he is fab­u­lous enough to come up with this in­cred­i­bly pre­ten­tious, self-in­dul­gent, ar­ti­fi­cial and ex­as­per­at­ing ex­er­cise of style over sub­stance.


Law­less (2012)

Hill­coat and Nick Cave work to­geth­er again to bring us this sen­sa­tion­al gang­ster epic that packs an ex­treme­ly in­tense and bru­tal punch with none of the ro­man­ti­cism ex­pect­ed from this kind of film — and it boasts some ter­rif­ic per­for­mances and a stun­ning pro­duc­tion de­sign.


Lawrence of Ara­bia (1962)

A splen­dorous epic re­stored to near per­fec­tion, run­ning now for al­most four hours of mag­nif­i­cent vi­su­als and fan­tas­tic di­a­logue, and it of­fers us both O’­Toole and Sharif in su­perb per­for­mances — es­pe­cial­ly the for­mer as a com­plex, con­tra­dic­to­ry man in a jour­ney from ec­cen­tric sol­dier to mad ex­hi­bi­tion­ist.


Lean on Pete (2017)

Steer­ing away from any pos­si­ble at­tempt at sen­ti­men­tal­i­ty, this is an al­ways ma­ture and down-to-earth com­ing-of-age dra­ma that re­lies on an im­pres­sive per­for­mance by Char­lie Plum­mer to tell us the heart­break­ing hard­ships en­dured by a poor young man in an un­for­giv­ing coun­try.


Leave No Trace (2018)

Al­most like a heart­warm­ing an­swer to the bleak bru­tal­i­ty of Win­ter’s Bone, here is a del­i­cate and touch­ing daugh­ter-fa­ther dra­ma whose main strength comes from the com­plex­i­ty of its char­ac­ters, who be­have like real-life peo­ple do and are bril­liant­ly played by Thomasin McKen­zie and Ben Fos­ter.


Leaves of Grass (2009)

A pseu­do-philo­soph­i­cal com­e­dy that be­gins well but then dives into sheer stu­pid­i­ty af­ter the first forty min­utes. Even if Ed­ward Nor­ton is great play­ing twin broth­ers, the plot seems ab­solute­ly point­less, shift­ing with no tact from light com­e­dy to overvi­o­lent thriller and cheap melo­dra­ma.


Leaves Out of the Book of Sa­tan (1920)

Drey­er’s third film, his cin­e­mat­ic break­through, is over­long, a bit pro­sa­ic and does­n’t of­fer much in terms of nar­ra­tive, but his stel­lar mise-en-scène and George Schnéevoigt’s cin­e­matog­ra­phy make every stun­ning shot wor­thy of be­ing framed and put on a wall in any mu­se­um.


Leav­ing Las Ve­gas (1995)

An aw­ful­ly bleak and de­press­ing dra­ma that does­n’t of­fer us any door or way in to con­nect with a de­plorable al­co­holic who only wants to die and a pitiable pros­ti­tute in need of his love — and her in­ter­view scenes are just in­tru­sive, un­nec­es­sary and heavy-hand­ed like most of the script.


Leav­ing Nev­er­land (2019)

The ra­bid fans can shut their eyes to re­al­i­ty and bark as loud as they want, but they have to be re­al­ly fa­nat­ic to sim­ply dis­miss the claims made by these two men and how their ex­pe­ri­ence with Michael Jack­son af­fect­ed them — and all those around them — for the rest of their lives.


Lebanon (2009)

A suf­fo­cat­ing and com­plex war movie shot en­tire­ly in a tank to de­pict the per­son­al im­pact of a con­flict and cen­tered on four Is­raeli sol­diers with­in the ve­hi­cle mov­ing across an in­vad­ed land — iso­lat­ed from the chaos out­side but able to see every­thing through the gun-sight.


Leg­end (2015)

Tom Hardy is the main (or in fact only) rea­son for you to see this film, play­ing twin broth­ers and steal­ing the scene es­pe­cial­ly as the in­sane, dan­ger­ous and hi­lar­i­ous­ly bizarre Ron­nie Kray, but as a biopic it is flawed and con­ven­tion­al like many oth­er gang­ster movies alike.


The Leg­end of Hell House (1973)

An in­ter­est­ing haunt­ed house movie that in­vests in a gloomy at­mos­phere like a psy­cho­log­i­cal hor­ror film and ben­e­fits great­ly from a chill­ing art di­rec­tion and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, al­though it is­n’t ex­act­ly scary nor mem­o­rable as a nar­ra­tive.


The Leg­end of 1900 (1998)

With­out any struc­ture, fo­cus or even nar­ra­tive pur­pose, still the biggest prob­lem with this dis­as­trous (and over­long) mess of a film is how the per­son­al­i­ty of its ti­tle char­ac­ter (who re­mains an ir­ri­tat­ing sketch) and his forced friend­ship with the pro­tag­o­nist are so poor­ly de­vel­oped.


The Lego Movie (2014)

What makes this film re­al­ly spe­cial is not only the fact that it is enor­mous­ly hi­lar­i­ous and fun for all ages, with an awe­some CGI that looks so flu­id and real, but main­ly be­cause it is a true ode to cre­ativ­i­ty and imag­i­na­tion, and what makes us spe­cial in our own way.


Lemon­ade (2016)

It looks gor­geous and the mu­sic is great, but the best thing in this con­cep­tu­al “vi­su­al al­bum” is see­ing how Be­y­on­cé re­veals so much about her­self in such an ex­per­i­men­tal, artis­tic way, even if some­times it seems like she is throw­ing a lot of dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of her life to­geth­er.


The Leop­ard (1963)

Vis­con­ti’s leisure­ly paced three-hour epic is a deeply sad and nos­tal­gic med­i­ta­tion on mor­tal­i­ty and the pass­ing of an era. A sump­tu­ous dra­ma rich in nu­ances, with beau­ti­ful per­for­mances (es­pe­cial­ly Burt Lan­cast­er) and an un­for­get­table ex­tend­ed ball­room scene in the end.


Less Than Zero (1987)

At first the un­lik­able char­ac­ters keep us from re­lat­ing to the sto­ry but Kanievs­ka man­ages the feat of mak­ing them all sym­pa­thet­ic lat­er, in a dev­as­tat­ing por­tray­al of drug ad­dic­tion with a great sound­track and two ter­rif­ic per­for­mances by Robert Downey Jr. and James Spad­er.


Leto (2018)

With a gor­geous black-and-white cin­e­matog­ra­phy and mu­si­cal se­quences full of en­er­gy to il­lus­trate de­sires and feel­ings that the char­ac­ters can­not ex­act­ly ex­press, this is a sub­lime film that re­fus­es easy con­flicts and be­comes even bet­ter when fo­cus­ing on how Vik­tor and Mayk see their art.


Leviathan (2014)

Set in a gloomy, op­pres­sive lo­ca­tion in North­ern Rus­sia, this is an un­com­fort­able dra­ma of tremen­dous irony about a Job-like char­ac­ter who is forced to face the hypocrisy of con­ser­vatism in a law­less town where free­dom and jus­tice are only for the God-fear­ing right­eous.


Life (2015)

An in­suf­fer­able spec­i­men of tabloid movie that is more con­cerned with be­ing a who’s-who of celebri­ties in 1955 in­stead of at least en­gag­ing as a nar­ra­tive, and its fail­ure can be at­trib­uted main­ly to Pat­tin­son (ter­ri­ble) and De­Haan, who is com­plete­ly mis­cast as James Dean.


Life (2017)

Filled with aw­ful di­a­logue and com­plete­ly de­void of ten­sion, this cheap copy of Alien is a waste of time that has noth­ing to of­fer but an in­cred­i­ble amount of stu­pid char­ac­ters mak­ing dumb de­ci­sions and be­ing just a bunch of ran­dom faces to be chased by a stu­pid crea­ture in a space­ship.


Life, and Noth­ing More… (1992)

Kiarosta­mi blurs once again the line that sep­a­rates re­al­i­ty and fic­tion, this time even mak­ing a ref­er­ence to one of his pre­vi­ous films to of­fer us a del­i­cate, com­pelling look at how peo­ple can move on with their lives and even help each oth­er in the face of a ter­ri­ble real tragedy.


Life, An­i­mat­ed (2016)

A fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry full of love and gen­eros­i­ty about a young autis­tic man who learned how to ex­press his feel­ings and open up to the world through Dis­ney an­i­mat­ed movies — and even if it could have gone deep­er into his con­di­tion, the film can be ex­treme­ly mov­ing some­times.


Life It­self (2014)

A beau­ti­ful trib­ute to a bril­liant writer and in­spir­ing man who was one of the most in­flu­en­tial movie crit­ics of all time, show­ing us his in­dis­putable im­por­tance for the Sev­enth Art, his ge­nius and flaws, and his touch­ing fight with can­cer, all in a very hon­est, un­sen­ti­men­tal way.


Life of Pi (2012)

Tech­ni­cal­ly im­pres­sive and with as­ton­ish­ing vi­su­als (de­spite the poor 3D), this is a mag­nif­i­cent and emo­tion­al­ly in­tense al­le­go­ry that uses a lot of sym­bol­ism to raise ques­tions about God, faith and how some­times we can be forced to face our in­ner beasts. A won­der­ful film of rare beau­ty, to be seen many times.


Life Stinks (1991)

An un­der­rat­ed Mel Brooks com­e­dy that ben­e­fits from fun­ny sit­u­a­tions and great per­for­mances (es­pe­cial­ly Brooks and War­ren, who steals the show every time she ap­pears), dis­ap­point­ing only for com­ing up with a sil­ly and im­plau­si­ble con­clu­sion for the char­ac­ter’s prob­lems.


Lifeboat (1944)

An en­gag­ing cham­ber movie in which all ac­tion takes place in­side a lifeboat, im­press­ing us most with its tech­ni­cal achieve­ment (if there was any doubt about Hitch­cock­’s di­rect­ing skills be­fore it, this film cer­tain­ly re­moved it) and Tal­lu­lah Bankhead stand­ing out in a great cast.


The Light Be­tween Oceans (2016)

Cian­france has be­come an “ex­pert” in corny melo­dra­mas, and this is like a shame­less te­len­ov­ela that suf­fers even more from the fact that there is no chem­istry be­tween the two bland leads and noth­ing in there to make us feel any sym­pa­thy for a cou­ple of baby kid­nap­pers.


Lights Out (2016)

A de­cent hor­ror movie that has its spooky mo­ments (es­pe­cial­ly for those who are afraid of the dark) and works well enough to com­pen­sate for its clichés (such as the lu­di­crous de­tails about Di­ana’s past, which made me laugh) and the fact that it can be too safe some­times.


Like Crazy (2011)

The leads are very tal­ent­ed even if not so charis­mat­ic (and they don’t have a lot of chem­istry to­geth­er), but this is com­pen­sat­ed by a ma­ture sto­ry told with a lot of con­vic­tion and made even more sin­cere by its dy­nam­ic edit­ing that shows well the pow­er of time in a re­la­tion­ship.


Like Fa­ther, Like Son (2013)

Ko­ree­da brings a great deal of his usu­al del­i­ca­cy and sen­si­bil­i­ty to a sto­ry that does­n’t of­fer easy an­swers, even if — giv­en the com­plex na­ture of the sub­ject in it­self — it feels like it does­n’t go as deep as it could into its themes and re­mains a bit more re­dun­dant than in­sight­ful.


Like Me (2017)

De­spite be­ing vi­su­al­ly stun­ning and en­tranc­ing­ly melan­choly with some very in­ter­est­ing ideas in which to an­chor its styl­ized aes­thet­ics, the film sad­ly gets lost af­ter a while when it starts to lose fo­cus and di­gress to­ward an an­ti­cli­mac­tic (yet un­de­ni­ably co­her­ent) con­clu­sion.


Like Some­one in Love (2012)

Kiarosta­mi is off to a won­der­ful start in the first act, dis­play­ing a very re­fined di­rec­tion, el­e­gant cam­era move­ments and smart sto­ry­telling. Still, it is hard to see where he wants to go with this af­ter the two char­ac­ters meet, lack­ing a clear di­rec­tion or pur­pose.


Like Stars on Earth (2007)

An ex­tra­or­di­nary and mag­i­cal film that should open the eyes of more and more peo­ple to a se­ri­ous de­vel­op­men­tal dis­or­der and the pain caused to many chil­dren who suf­fer from it — and it shows how some­times it takes one per­son to care and make a dif­fer­ence in some­one’s life.


Lili Mar­leen (1981)

One may won­der why Fass­binder de­cid­ed to in­dulge him­self in an unim­pres­sive, seem­ing­ly un­der­de­vel­oped Hol­ly­wood-like movie made only for en­ter­tain­ment, and it los­es its way in the last act to the point of even in­clud­ing a com­plete­ly point­less self-ref­er­ence.


Lilt­ing (2014)

Whishaw and Cheng are great in this touch­ing sto­ry of grief, lan­guage bar­ri­ers and even the dif­fer­ences that are brought to light when peo­ple fi­nal­ly un­der­stand each oth­er — which gives rise to some very hu­mor­ous mo­ments -, al­though it also avoids go­ing deep­er in its emo­tions.


Lilya 4‑ever (2002)

A trag­ic and dev­as­tat­ing film that should make us aware of some­thing hor­rif­ic that hap­pens to so many teenage girls in East­ern Eu­rope, and if you de­cide to watch it with­out know­ing any­thing about it, it may per­haps be an even more shock­ing and com­pelling ex­pe­ri­ence.


The Lime­house Golem (2016)

I did en­joy the de­light­ful di­a­logue and sol­id per­for­mances, but this Vic­to­ri­an-era de­tec­tive sto­ry tries so hard to be smart and sur­pris­ing (with an “un­ex­pect­ed” big twist in the end) that it does­n’t re­al­ize how pre­dictable it is in its baf­fling stu­pid­i­ty.


Lime­light (1952)

A deeply heart­felt sto­ry that does­n’t need too much ef­fort to make us feel for and care about the gen­uine con­nec­tion that grows be­tween the two cen­tral char­ac­ters. Be­sides, it is more than a plea­sure to see Chap­lin and Buster Keaton shar­ing the fi­nal act to­geth­er.


Lim­ite (1931)

Con­sid­ered by many as the Brazil­ian Un Chien An­dalou, this po­et­ic clas­sic may be quite self-in­dul­gent and rep­e­ti­tious, but is also a huge­ly in­no­v­a­tive film in terms of cin­e­matog­ra­phy and edit­ing for the time it was made, with so many evoca­tive shots that linger in the mem­o­ry.


Lim­it­less (2011)

An en­ter­tain­ing movie that you eas­i­ly for­get af­ter see­ing and whose cu­ri­ous premise runs out of steam too quick­ly, but this is com­pen­sat­ed at least by a charm­ing and charis­mat­ic Bradley Coop­er who keeps you in­ter­est­ed long af­ter you had stopped car­ing about the sto­ry.


Lin­coln (2012)

This pa­thet­ic melo­dra­ma is al­ways more in­ter­est­ing when fo­cus­ing on the pol­i­tics in­volved but a very schmaltzy “life les­son” when­ev­er Lin­coln ap­pears — shown as a wise and myth­i­cal sto­ry­teller of pure heart (but fine with brib­ing, of course), nev­er a com­plex real man.


The Lin­coln Lawyer (2011)

This en­ter­tain­ing crime thriller is not very orig­i­nal but does­n’t dis­ap­point ei­ther, as it of­fers a pret­ty in­ter­est­ing plot with its typ­i­cal, ex­pect­ed twists and some good per­for­mances — ex­cept, of course, Ryan Phillippe, who is mediocre and in­ex­pres­sive as usu­al.


A Lin­guagem da Per­suasão (1970)

Too brief and su­per­fi­cial, but great to show in the first class of an in­tro­duc­to­ry course to com­mu­ni­ca­tion stud­ies.


The Lion King (2019)

Dis­ney seems so greedy and des­per­ate to make mon­ey that they re­make one of their clas­sics al­most iden­ti­cal­ly just to show what they can do with state-of-the-art CGI, but the re­sult lacks mag­ic and looks more like a Nat Geo pro­duc­tion, with voic­ing and singing that pale in com­par­i­son.


Li­ons Love (1969)

Var­da seems to be try­ing to make an im­pro­vi­sa­tion­al meta-Warhol ex­per­i­ment or per­haps a hip­pie homage to Hol­ly­wood (who knows?), but the re­sult, de­spite mild­ly pleas­ant, is in fact a bit pre­ten­tious, and the main trio be­come pret­ty an­noy­ing and dull af­ter a while.


Liq­uid Truth (2017)

The fram­ings are pret­ty weird, usu­al­ly slic­ing the char­ac­ters’ faces off on top, while the end­ing is too abrupt, but I like how the film’s am­bi­gu­i­ty brings the main fo­cus here to how quick­ly and eas­i­ly an ac­cu­sa­tion can es­ca­late into a witch hunt in times of Face­book and Twit­ter.


Lit­tle Ash­es (2008)

A dis­ap­point­ing ef­fort that does­n’t de­vel­op well the per­son­al­i­ties of its three main char­ac­ters and is un­able to make us see what Lor­ca could pos­si­bly find so at­trac­tive in Pat­tin­son’s Dalí. Be­sides, it suf­fers from ir­reg­u­lar per­for­mances and some cheesy, em­bar­rass­ing mo­ments.


Lit­tle Athens (2005)

Lit­tle Athens brings to­geth­er in a sin­gle in­de­pen­dent film more than a dozen young rais­ing stars and has a great in­die sound­track, but is no more than an or­di­nary, un­re­mark­able sto­ry about young­sters deal­ing with sex and drugs.


A Lit­tle Chaos (2014)

Winslet and Rick­man do sell their im­plau­si­ble scene to­geth­er in the gar­den, but this mediocre — and awk­ward — lit­tle melo­dra­ma is cen­tered on an un­con­vinc­ing ro­mance and is not ashamed to use a ridicu­lous “flash­back at­tack” in the end to solve the char­ac­ter’s prob­lems.


The Lit­tle Drum­mer Girl (1984)

What I liked most in this sol­id, un­der­rat­ed thriller was the whole com­plex­i­ty of its sit­u­a­tions, al­liances and strate­gies as seen through the eyes of a naive ac­tress caught in the mid­dle of a con­flict and fol­low­ing her heart in­stead of any po­lit­i­cal con­vic­tions.


Lit­tle Eng­land (2013)

Over­long and a tad over­baked, this Greek pe­ri­od dra­ma has an alarm­ing ten­den­cy to ex­po­si­tion and cheesi­ness — es­pe­cial­ly with those pseu­do-po­et­ic lines ut­tered now and again by the char­ac­ters -, but the beau­ti­ful cin­e­matog­ra­phy and strong per­for­mances com­pen­sate.


The Lit­tle Mer­maid (1989)

The best film of the stu­dio in more than twen­ty years and an ex­cel­lent re­turn to the gold­en age of fairy tale clas­sics, with won­der­ful songs, a de­light­ful an­i­ma­tion and a won­der­ful­ly-writ­ten sto­ry that set a new stan­dard to be fol­lowed by the stu­dio in the next decade.


Lit­tle Odessa (1994)

With an un­re­lat­able psy­chopath at its cen­ter and only the strong per­for­mances to com­mend, es­pe­cial­ly from Tim Roth and Max­i­m­il­ian Schell, this is a failed com­bi­na­tion of fam­i­ly dra­ma and crime thriller that falls flat as both, seem­ing point­less and emp­ty in its poor at­tempt at say­ing some­thing.


The Lit­tle Prince (1974)

A beau­ti­ful mu­si­cal adap­ta­tion that cap­tures the essence and soul of Saint-Ex­u­pery’s clas­sic book, even if the sight of ac­tors play­ing an­i­mals must feel strange for some, and ben­e­fits from gor­geous vi­su­als and fan­tas­tic per­for­mances — es­pe­cial­ly by the young Steven Warn­er.


The Lit­tle Prince (2015)

The an­i­ma­tion is stun­ning, but the plot (whose ti­tle is mis­lead­ing even if it does a great job rein­ter­pret­ing the sto­ry in a new con­text) feels a bit all over the place in its sec­ond act (with a clear lack of co­he­sion be­tween the two sto­ry­lines) and has prob­lems such as the moth­er’s ab­surd­ly in­co­her­ent be­hav­ior in the end.


Lit­tle White Lies (2010)

With a first-rate cast and a great sound­track, this is a warm and fun­ny movie that al­ready be­gins with an im­pres­sive long take, and al­though it has a maudlin con­clu­sion that al­most ru­ins it, it is cen­tered on a group of char­ac­ters who are flawed and en­tire­ly hu­man — like they should be.


Livid (2011)

What is the point of try­ing to make heads or tails of any­thing here or even look­ing for any sense if it is clear that the di­rec­tors are only think­ing about aes­thet­ics and cre­at­ing gor­geous set pieces? Be­sides, the film is com­plete­ly un­scary and just a pile of ridicu­lous clichés.


A Lizard in a Wom­an’s Skin (1971)

It does­n’t take a ge­nius to see that the stu­pid twist in the end does­n’t make any sense af­ter all that came be­fore, and this trashy, non­sen­si­cal gi­al­lo is even more ex­cru­ci­at­ing with its in­ept di­rec­tion, ugly zooms, hideous trem­bling cam­era, cheesy mu­sic and ter­ri­ble act­ing from every­one.


Locke (2013)

A strong char­ac­ter study with a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance by Tom Hardy, de­spite its ex­cess of ex­po­si­tion and a di­rec­tor who does­n’t seem to trust his own ca­pac­i­ty to keep us in­volved with a min­i­mal­ist sto­ry and so tries every­thing to cre­ate a sense of move­ment with his rest­less cam­era.


Loft (2008)

In its in­sis­tence on be­ing smart and sur­pris­ing — which this ef­fi­cient thriller is for the most part — it also comes off as a bit con­trived and over the top like a Mel­rose Place-like soap opera, di­rect­ed and edit­ed as a tele­film and with a di­a­logue that sounds at times pret­ty ex­pos­i­to­ry.


Lo­gan (2017)

Hugh Jack­man de­liv­ers an in­tense and vis­cer­al per­for­mance in what is es­sen­tial­ly a har­row­ing, grit­ty char­ac­ter study that does an amaz­ing job rip­ping the view­er’s soul apart lit­tle by lit­tle with a touch­ing sto­ry about mor­tal­i­ty and a dev­as­tat­ing ex­plo­sion of blood and vi­o­lence.


Lo­gan Lucky (2017)

Soder­bergh leaves his al­leged re­tire­ment to de­liv­er us this en­ter­tain­ing (yet un­even) ca­per that may not be re­mark­able but ben­e­fits from a good en­sem­ble cast, even if the movie suf­fers from prob­lems of pac­ing and re­lies on a sense of hu­mor that doesn’t al­ways work.


Loki: Ar­nal­do Bap­tista (2008)

Mak­ing use of a lot of great in­ter­views and won­der­ful archive footage, this is a com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­men­tary and touch­ing trib­ute to one of the most im­por­tant and in­flu­en­tial names in the his­to­ry of Brazil­ian mu­sic, and how he went from star­dom to falling vic­tim to de­pres­sion.


Lola (1981)

The last film of Fass­binder’s BRD Tril­o­gy is this sharp so­cial satire that proves to be hi­lar­i­ous from start to fin­ish, a quirky melo­dra­ma of gar­ish vi­su­als and glossy col­ors with Bar­bara Sukowa dis­play­ing a de­li­cious com­ic tim­ing in a sto­ry that can be sur­pris­ing­ly touch­ing.


Lola Mon­tès (1955)

The re­cent­ly re­stored ver­sion as orig­i­nal­ly in­tend­ed by Ophüls is a sump­tu­ous chef-d’oeu­vre. The pro­duc­tion de­sign, cos­tumes, the flu­id cam­er­a­work, the won­der­ful script, every­thing is re­mark­able from the first shot to the last, a great plea­sure for the eyes and the heart.


Loli­ta (1962)

The fact that Nabokov’s per­verse and sen­su­al mas­ter­piece got adapt­ed was a re­mark­able achieve­ment, con­sid­er­ing its polemic sub­ject and the year the film was re­leased, and Kubrick was a ge­nius turn it into a sub­tle sto­ry that im­plies more than it shows while still re­main­ing true to the nov­el.


Lolo (2015)

Julie Delpy only shows us that she has an aw­ful sense of hu­mor and does­n’t re­al­ize that most of her jokes and gags are hor­ri­ble and un­fun­ny, which is made even worse by the fact that most of the char­ac­ters are so self­ish and de­testable, and Vin­cent La­coste a ter­ri­ble ac­tor.


The Lone Ranger (2013)

It is true that it is over­long and has an ir­reg­u­lar pace (some edit­ing re­quired), but it man­ages to be a very en­ter­tain­ing pop­corn movie, mak­ing the best of it all with a de­li­cious slap­stick hu­mor, a gor­geous pro­duc­tion de­sign, top-notch vi­su­al ef­fects and an amaz­ing score.


Lone Sur­vivor (2013)

The ti­tle and ini­tial scenes make the film quite pre­dictable, but this is com­pen­sat­ed by a sur­pris­ing­ly bru­tal sec­ond act with a first-rate sound job. The only prob­lem is that Berg is too con­cerned about mak­ing it a brain­less pro-troop ac­tion movie, some­thing clear­er in the movie’s stu­pid third act.


The Long Good­bye (1973)

An in­tri­cate film noir satire that has all the el­e­ments that we ex­pect from a Ray­mond Chan­dler sto­ry, only this time the pro­tag­o­nist of The Big Sleep is up­dat­ed to the 1970s with a shock­er in the end and a de­li­cious melan­choly song that will stay in your head for a long time.


Long Shot (2019)

Like a good dish lack­ing salt, this is a movie that does­n’t have the wit­ti­ness it needs to take off and be­come re­al­ly tasty, and it does­n’t help that Theron and Ro­gen don’t have that much chem­istry or that the plot de­cides to solve a clever con­flict in a typ­i­cal­ly safe, im­plau­si­ble way.


The Look of Si­lence (2014)

De­spite its ten­den­cy to place more the in­ter­view­er at the cen­ter of the doc than its sub­ject, and how his con­fronta­tion seems at times fruit­less and mis­guid­ed, this wel­come fol­low-up to The Act of Killing is also re­veal­ing as it ex­pos­es a coun­try try­ing to bury its past.


Look Who’s Back (2015)

Ma­suc­ci de­serves an Os­car for his mag­net­ic, hi­lar­i­ous per­for­mance as Hitler in this satir­i­cal gem that com­bines mock­u­men­tary with fic­tion and achieves mo­ments of ab­solute bril­liance when in­duc­ing peo­ple to ex­pose their worst side — even mak­ing Bo­rat seem like an am­a­teur in com­par­i­son.


Look­ing for Eric (2009)

A de­light­ful and amaz­ing­ly en­gag­ing tragi­com­e­dy that blends sad­ness, ten­der­ness and a lot of hu­mor to de­liv­er this heart-warm­ing sto­ry that ben­e­fits from some amaz­ing per­for­mances — es­pe­cial­ly by a hi­lar­i­ous Eric Can­tona at his most philo­soph­i­cal.


Loop­er (2012)

A very smart and thought-pro­vok­ing sci­ence-fic­tion that in­jects some thrilling ac­tion scenes in a com­pelling time trav­el nar­ra­tive and de­serves spe­cial praise for its great di­rec­tion, fine act­ing and for re­spect­ing our in­tel­li­gence like any first-rate sci-fi should.


The Lo­rax (2012)

A cute and en­joy­able an­i­ma­tion that stays true to the eco­log­i­cal mes­sage of Dr. Seuss’s book. With an op­ti­mistic and hope­ful sto­ry that speaks to all chil­dren, it proves to be much more ef­fi­cient (and fun­nier) than the likes of Ice Age 4 and Mada­gas­car 3, also re­leased in the same year.


Lore (2012)

A dis­as­trous dra­ma that feels rep­e­ti­tious and point­less, nev­er mak­ing clear what Short­land wants to say with this — and her heavy-hand­ed di­rec­tion makes even more bla­tant the way she em­braces the most ob­vi­ous soap-opera clichés and cheap nar­ra­tive ar­ti­fices.


Lost and Deliri­ous (2001)

It is re­al­ly in­ter­est­ing to see how Pool makes this Shake­speare­an sto­ry of un­re­quit­ed love and ob­ses­sion look like it could be tak­ing place in any time, and it is also very nice the way that she grad­u­al­ly moves her main fo­cus from Bar­ton’s char­ac­ter to the film’s true pro­tag­o­nist, Paulie.


The Lost City of Z (2016)

James Grey makes a weak film that wants to be an ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture (yet it does man­age to be tense at times) but is most­ly un­in­ter­est­ing and over­long, with not much to of­fer be­sides a lot of clichés, sil­ly di­a­logue and poor­ly-de­vel­oped mo­ti­va­tions for its ob­sessed pro­tag­o­nist.


Lost Is­lands (2008)

A re­fresh­ing com­ing-of-age com­e­dy that per­fect­ly cap­tures the feel of by­gone days with a won­der­ful ’80s sound­track and a great pro­duc­tion de­sign — and it is im­pres­sive­ly well edit­ed and evolves into a strong dra­ma cen­tered on fam­i­ly, dreams and choic­es.


Lost Riv­er (2014)

Gosling cre­ates an omi­nous at­mos­phere with a hyp­no­tiz­ing cin­e­matog­ra­phy and a great score, but this in­cred­i­bly pre­ten­tious and self-in­dul­gent sal­ad of in­flu­ences — Lynch, Bava, Ar­gen­to, Refn and so on — has a ter­ri­ble sense of lack of pur­pose, with ap­par­ent­ly noth­ing to say.


Loud­er Than Bombs (2015)

Tri­er fol­lows his ex­cel­lent Oslo, 31. Au­gust with an­oth­er dev­as­tat­ing dra­ma, this time about a fam­i­ly who must cope with the weight of loss, and, even if a bit un­even, it is nice to see the sin­cere way that it shows and ex­plores the com­plex­i­ty of the char­ac­ters’ feel­ings.


Love (2015)

A self-in­dul­gent (and end­less) film with maybe the worst 3D I have ever seen (it sim­ply has no sense of depth and makes the film look too dark), while the di­a­logue is in­fan­tile and aw­ful, the ac­tors ter­ri­ble (Muy­ock is eas­i­ly the worst) and it feels al­most im­pos­si­ble to care about such a de­testable pro­tag­o­nist.


Love Af­ter Love (2017)

If Clos­er had been made by In­g­mar Bergman, I guess the re­sult would have been some­thing like this, an adult, soul-crush­ing fam­i­ly dra­ma about love, death and the ef­fect of time on those who grieve, with an op­pres­sive cin­e­matog­ra­phy that re­flects well the char­ac­ters’ emo­tion­al state.


Love & Friend­ship (2016)

I love the Eng­lish lan­guage, and it is a de­light­ful plea­sure to lis­ten to Jane Austen’s de­li­cious and fun­ny di­a­logue from the mouths of such a won­der­ful cast (es­pe­cial­ly Kate Beck­in­sale and Tom Ben­nett), and the film ben­e­fits from a jaw-drop­ping pro­duc­tion and cos­tume de­sign.


Love & Mer­cy (2014)

Paul Dano and John Cu­sack of­fer two ex­cep­tion­al per­for­mances as Wil­son in two dis­tinct (and at times even con­trast­ing) stages of his life, and this in­sight­ful biopic is very well di­rect­ed, beau­ti­ful­ly pho­tographed and filled with the won­der­ful mu­sic of The Beach Boys.


Love & Oth­er Drugs (2010)

I dis­agree with the com­mon feel­ing that this movie does­n’t ex­act­ly know what sto­ry it wants to tell; in fact, it is a de­cent ro­man­tic com­e­dy that bal­ances well its dif­fer­ent plot el­e­ments, with a great chem­istry be­tween the leads and a very hot Jake Gyl­len­haal al­most naked in sev­er­al scenes.


The Love Guru (2008)

A movie so ab­solute­ly puerile, un­fun­ny and dread­ful in every as­pect imag­in­able that it makes you want to take Mike My­ers by the hair and beat him with a tire iron. Is there re­al­ly still any­one in this plan­et who thinks that name puns and di­ar­rhea jokes are at all fun­ny?


Love Is a Many-Splen­dored Thing (1955)

I don’t know what is worse, if the film’s cringe­wor­thy de­pic­tion of su­per­sti­tious ex­oti­cism in Chi­na or the corny di­a­logue ex­changed by two lead ac­tors who have very lit­tle chem­istry to­geth­er, but at least this is part­ly com­pen­sat­ed by some con­vinc­ing po­lit­i­cal and cul­tur­al ob­sta­cles.


Love Me For­ev­er or Nev­er (1986)

Pre­ten­tious, tire­some and rep­e­ti­tious, this is a poor­ly-di­rect­ed male fan­ta­sy that does­n’t even seem to re­al­ize how sex­ist it is, with cheap di­a­logue and cen­tered on two self­ish char­ac­ters who be­come more and more de­testable as the sto­ry moves on to­wards a stu­pid end­ing.


Love Me If You Dare (2003)

Not only is every scene be­tween moth­er and son hideous­ly corny and sen­ti­men­tal, but it is al­most im­pos­si­ble to put up with two so­ciopaths so ut­ter­ly im­ma­ture, dis­gust­ing and loath­some amid con­flicts that are all child­ish, ir­ri­tat­ing and ar­ti­fi­cial.


Love, Si­mon (2018)

The im­pres­sion one gets while watch­ing this movie is that every­one tried too hard to make it as adorable as pos­si­ble, but it doesn’t even care to avoid the most ba­sic rom­com clichés, es­pe­cial­ly in its third act when things be­come too sap­py, sil­ly and con­trived.


Love Songs (2007)

The songs are most­ly nice (when the lyrics are not so ir­ri­tat­ing­ly pre­ten­tious), but the film seems to wan­der around with­out a clear sense of pur­pose, con­vic­tion and fo­cus, while also be­ing way too bleak and down­beat for its own good with its blueish, mo­not­o­nous vi­su­als.


Love Steaks (2013)

The main rea­son why this de­li­cious film works so damn well (both as a com­e­dy and as a ro­mance) is be­cause Franz Ro­gows­ki and Lana Coop­er are so damn good play­ing two char­ac­ters who are ab­solute­ly dif­fer­ent from each oth­er but who could­n’t have a bet­ter on­screen chem­istry to­geth­er.


Lovelace (2013)

The most in­ter­est­ing thing in this sol­id biopic is how it shows us one side of Lin­da Lovelace’s life and then sub­verts it to re­veal the real dark truth be­hind all that we are wit­ness­ing, be­com­ing a touch­ing dra­ma about a ter­ri­bly un­lucky woman caught in a very sad life.


Love­less (2017)

Even if his metaphor and po­lit­i­cal com­men­tary are a bit too ob­vi­ous, Zvyag­int­sev cre­ates a hard-hit­ting and dev­as­tat­ing por­tray­al of bit­ter­ness, dis­sat­is­fac­tion and lone­li­ness in mod­ern Rus­sia as we fol­low char­ac­ters who con­stant­ly hurt each oth­er and are un­able to change.


The Love­ly Bones (2009)

It pains me to see this huge mis­take made by Pe­ter Jack­son, a ridicu­lous blend of con­trived thriller, un­con­vinc­ing dra­ma and pa­thet­ic af­ter­life fan­ta­sy full of self-in­dul­gent CGI ef­fects — and even worse is the de­spi­ca­ble way that it wants us to ac­cept the mur­der of a 14-year-old girl as part of life.


Lover for a Day (2017)

Even though it is in­ter­est­ing and even en­gag­ing, it feels al­most im­pos­si­ble not to leave this film with the im­pres­sion that a lot was told but lit­tle was ac­tu­al­ly said in the end, with every­thing be­ing most­ly in­con­se­quen­tial and not re­al­ly prob­ing any­where be­neath the sur­face.


Lovers of the Arc­tic Cir­cle (1998)

Told al­most as a quirky love fa­ble bathed in icy blue and full of the most po­et­ic co­in­ci­dences, this is an atyp­i­cal ro­mance that does­n’t even let us no­tice how strange­ly hooked to these odd char­ac­ters we be­come, hop­ing above all else that fate will bring them to­geth­er in the end.


The Lovers on the Bridge (1991)

A beau­ti­ful and pro­found­ly mov­ing tale of amour fou about what it means to live with (and to be set free from) any crutch­es of de­pen­den­cy, be­ing those real or sym­bol­ic (like a blind­ing dis­ease or the need of some­one else’s af­fec­tion), im­posed on us by so­ci­ety, our­selves or our own lim­i­ta­tions.


Lov­ing (2016)

I find it re­mark­able how Nichols uses a sober, un­sen­ti­men­tal ap­proach (with a very nice at­ten­tion to de­tails) to tell this real-life sto­ry and move us be­cause of the sheer strength of what he wants to say, ben­e­fit­ing most­ly from two ex­cel­lent cen­tral per­for­mances.


Lov­ing Vin­cent (2017)

It will be def­i­nite­ly re­mem­bered for how it looks: ab­solute­ly gor­geous and unique like a Van Gogh paint­ing in mo­tion, that is for sure; yet the film’s unim­pres­sive Cit­i­zen-Kane-es­que plot does­n’t of­fer as much to match its in­cred­i­ble tech­ni­cal achieve­ment, which is a pity.


Lu­cio Flavio (1977)

The di­a­logue is awk­ward some­times and it can be a bit frus­trat­ing that the film’s two most pow­er­ful scenes turn out to be dreams, but even so this is an ex­cel­lent and well-di­rect­ed biopic that lets us sym­pa­thize with a real-life ban­dit who was main­ly a pawn in the hands of a cor­rupt po­lice.


Lucky (2017)

Har­ry Dean Stan­ton should have re­ceived an Os­car for his sub­lime farewell in this film, a touch­ing (yet rather un­even) char­ac­ter study that works more when em­brac­ing a min­i­mal­ist Jim Jar­musch-like style than when try­ing to be David Lynch with a philo­soph­i­cal “mes­sage.”


Lucy (2014)

The type of baf­fling­ly stu­pid movie that be­lieves to be much smarter than it ever comes close to be, in­ca­pable of rais­ing any min­i­mal­ly con­struc­tive philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions be­yond the most ob­vi­ous pseu­do-meta­phys­i­cal silli­ness and with Jo­hans­son in a ter­ri­ble per­for­mance.


The Lunch­box (2013)

A warm, melan­choly dra­ma that en­chants and moves us even more thanks to the way that its three-di­men­sion­al char­ac­ters re­veal so much about them­selves be­tween the lines — and it is only a pity, though, that it drags a bit in the third act and ends in a rather frus­trat­ing con­clu­sion.


The Lyre of De­light (1978)

Struc­tured when edit­ed and with no ac­tu­al script, this is an in­ter­est­ing nar­ra­tive ex­per­i­ment in con­cept that sim­ply did not work when put into prac­tice (how­ev­er tech­ni­cal­ly im­pres­sive it is), be­ing in the end a mess with­out fo­cus, di­rec­tion, sense of pur­pose or struc­ture for that mat­ter.